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falling over the fiscal cliff. senate leaders need to put something together to avoid tax increases for just about everyone and big spending cuts. senator claire mccaskill says a make or brake deal comes down to a few lawmakers on topic of raising taxes for the wealthy. >> it remains to be scene whether the republicans being driven by a very extreme group of house members will allow our economy to pert because of their desire to protect multimillionaires in this country. that's what it's going to boil down to. >> any plan would need house speaker john baner to bring it to the floor for a vote. republican representative tom cole says he's confident that boehner can get the votes he needs. >> on the speaker's plan, he had over 200 republican votes, it's not as if he had an awfully strong hand to play, if it's a deal john boehner can accept, it will be passed in a bipartisan manner with a very strong majority. if on the other hand he's neutral or not favorable, his chances will be a lot slimmer. >> lisa desjardins following the fiscal cliff negotiations on capitol hill. do you have any
and calls on the senate to act on the fiscal cliff. but with four days to go, will his push make a difference? >>> plus, politicians promised that the newtown shooting would change our national debate on guns. are those just empty promises? >>> we count down the top five political rivalries. who won, who lost, what it means for 2013. let's go "outfront." >>> breaking news. the president makes an 11th hour announcement tonight putting the pressure squarely on the senate so broker a deal on the fiscal cliff. >> senators reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital life line of unemployment insurance to 2 million americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> and just moments ago, senator harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vot
on the senate to broker a deal for the fiscal cliff. >> senator reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends unemployment to the 2 million americans looking for a job and lays groundwork for more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> just moments ago, senator harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vote by monday. all this follows a rare face-to-face closed door meeting at the white house today between all the key players, the president, the vice president, the treasury secretary and all four congressional leaders huddled together with just four days to go before we all go overs fiscal cliff. that meeting lasted for an hour and five minutes. on a story where every second and every maneuver counts, let's get chief to white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, the president says he's modestly optimist be
to reach a fiscal cliff deal. the senate and house are expected to reconvene tomorrow. we're six days away from possible across the board tax increases and spending cuts. >>> former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital. his wife, barbara, and other relatives at his side. the 88-year-old has been in the hospital for more than a month with a lingering cough and recently had a low grade fever. doctors remain cautiously optimistic about a full recovery. >>> a claim of facebook privacy breach within the zuckerberg family. his sister says a family photo was reposted by another person on twitter. randy zuckerberg called the woman out. the woman apologized said it was public because it was in her facebook newsfeed. >>> in china the longest high speed railway opens, connects beijing with guangzhou, 1,500 in eight hours, but tickets start at $138, and they're a little pricey for some people and many travelers say it's cheaper and faster to fly. >>> a report just out this morning shows home prices up in october, the biggest annual gain in more than two years. alison kosik joins u
, with senator mccain. but you know we are now technically going over the fiscal cliff. because the house of representatives is going to adjourn. they're not going to consider anything that you guys in the senate might pass. at least until tomorrow. so from your perspective, what does that mean, senator graham, that the country, the united states, is now going over the fiscal cliff? >> i just think it shows the dysfunction of the political system. back to the president's performance today, that was pretty unusual. to have a -- kind of a pep rally in the middle of negotiations. what john said about defense cuts going into effect, shooting the military in the head, according to secretary panetta, is real and true. but i want to cut $1.2 trillion over the next decade. we're going to spend $46.5 trillion. it's not hard to find $1.2 trillion. i just don't want to destroy the defense department. so if you delay the cuts, you're going to lose votes in the house. you're going to lose votes in the house because people in the house want to cut the government. i want to cut the government. i just do
. >> they are trying to find a last minute compromise to keep us from going over the fiscal cliff, respect senator olympia snowe is saying that it's a bigger sign of a bigger crisis. >> what is deeply troubling is you cannot get congress and the president to reach any agreement on anything. >> the latest on the fiscal cliff negotiations in a few minutes. a 31-year-old woman has been charged with second degree murder as a hate crime in connection with a subway death in new york city. they identified the woman as erica ericamenendez in new york. the victim was a store owner and graphic designer. witnesses described a womani pacing the platform and talking to herself before pushing the victim on the tracks as a train entered the stadium. the video shows a woman running from the scene. a airliner smashed into a highway in russia. four of the crew were killed, no passengers were on board and no one on the highway was injured. it was arriving when it over shot the run way. a lot of celebrating early this morning in portland, maine, the first same sex couple said i do under a new state law that took effe
on capitol hill, senators are hard at work trying to avoid taking the country off ha fiscal cliff. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell arrived earlier today at the capital for talks. yesterday he and other leaders met the white house with the president and vice president aiming to avoid tax hikes and may vote on a deal as early as sunday. >>> police now have a woman in custody in connection with the death of a man pushed in front of a new york city subway train on thursday. detectives arrested a woman who they said said things that implicated hadder in the death sun and doe sen. this is the sketch of that suspect. >>> in india, the young woman gang raped on a new delhi bus is dead. doctors say she died peacefully at the hospital where she was being treated. employees plan to add murder charges against the six suspects already in custody and arrested on rape. the charges will be filed next thursday. angry protesters have been demanding justice and more protection for women and police expect more demonstrations in the days to come. >>> a large crowd cheers the first couple to get married
leader harry reid says we're all headed for fiscal disaster. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left before the first of the year, aren't here. >> we're now told the house will finally return to work on sunday. now, that's december 30th. in other words, less than 48 hours before we go over the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports from both ends of pennsylvania avenue. chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, and senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. jessica, first, to you, the president's back in washington, wheels down. he left his christmas vacation early. but was this just a bit of showmanship, or has he been working on something specific? >> reporter: hey, john. well, today has been a bit of a quiet day here at the white house. publicly, the president has been scarce, no sign of him. behind closed doors, i'm told a few meetings i
to work out a deal to avoid a fiscal cliff. just watching and keeping an eye on things so we'll bring you the latest developments as they happen. when they do, we'll bring them to you. >>> deal or no deal -- that is the $64,000 question. and this is not a game show. we're talking about of course, the high-stakes politics in washington that will impact every american family. the fiscal cliff is here. and we all go over it in two days. unless the president and congress are able to come up with some kind of budget deal. so let's bring in brian monroe. the editor of cnn politics.com and he's joining us from san antonio, texas. brian, no one wants their taxes to go up. we know come tuesday, everyone who gets a paycheck will get less money in it unless a deal is reached. i know you've been talking to people and getting the pulse of the country, what are they saying to you? >> you know, martin, you're right, gallup did a recent poll taking a look at this. let's take a look. the recent poll shows that 68% of americans are saying lawmakers are should compromise in order to reach this fiscal cliff
to washington to see if congress reaches a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. senator mitch mcconnell spoke on the senate floor. >> i can report that we have reached an agreement on all of the tax -- the tax issues. we are very, very close. as the president just said, the most important piece, the piece that has to be done now, is preventing the tax hikes. >> in just the last hour, the president said a deal is, quote, within sight and that he himself is willing to make the hard choices to avoid $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax hikes. wolf blitzer joining me now. wolf, you've been with these kinds of negotiations before. when you look at this thing, do you think the can is just getting kicked down the road? in some ways it seems we're only getting a down payment here if that on the bigger issue of deficit reduction. >> and you're absolutely right, joe. the president himself acknowledged that he wanted a big deal, a big picture deal if you will, couldn't achieve that with the leadership in congress. so they're going to do it in stages. they're going to do it in various parts. t
on the looming fiscal cliff. reid and his fellow senators are under intense scrutiny after john boehner said the democratic controlled senate must act first on proposals already passed by his chamber. we will bring you reid's remarks as they happen. >>> as the clock ticks down toward the fiscal cliff, washington has a new worry the debt ceiling, treasury secretary tim geithner says the united states will hit its legal borrowing limit on monday. alison kosik is in new york. i feel like it's groundhog day. >> i know it really is. what's old is new again, right, carol? let me kind of back up the bus here. we start talking about the debt ceiling and i know people's eyes glaze over. let me tell you exactly what the debt ceiling is. it's a cap set by congress of the amount of money the federal government can borrow. right now the ceiling is at $16.394 trillion and treasury secretary tim geithner said earlier this week we could hit that debt ceiling on monday, on new year's eve and the treasury will soon start using what it says are extraordinary measures to keep the government from going over the
america from going over the fiscal cliff. as the house and senate reconvene tomorrow. the clock is ticking. six days until the deadline. the way things work in washington, can they actually get something done before the end of the year? brianna keilar, what is the latest on this? >> hi, there, drew. president obama will be heading home from hawaii tonight, logical time arri arriving in d.c. thursday morning when the senate will be reconvenin reconvening, and the senate, all eyes on now, that we look for the last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. even though the president is returning on thursday, we may not see the senate roll out its bill to deal with the fiscal cliff. perhaps for a couple of days. this is entirely possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for the threshold on income tax rates to cut off at $250,000. we will see if that ultimately is what senate major
is on the fiscal cliff. washington has less than 48 hours to make a deal before billions in tax increases and spending cuts take effect. senate negotiators stayed late into the night trying to work out a plan that would pass a vote. both houses of congress would convene later this afternoon in a rare sunday session. in his weekly address, the president took his message directly to the public calling for congress to come together to pass a deal. >> for the past couple months, i have been working with people in both parties with the help of business leaders and ordinary americans to come together around a plan to grow the economy and shrink our deficits. it's a balance plan. one that would protect the middle class, cut spending in a responsible way and ask the wealthiest americans to pay a little more. and i'll keep working with anybody who's serious about getting a comprehensive plan like this done because it's the right thing to do for our economic growth. but we're now at the point where in just a couple of days the law says that every american's tax rates are going up. every american's
, as of now so far as we know there is no fiscal cliff deal, but negotiations primarily betweens those two men are going on even as we speak or between their staffs. we're hearing a new sense of optimism from some senate members who believe they might be able to pass some kind of minimalist package that would keep tax rates from going up on the majority of americans. i want to go to capitol hill and cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash. dana, is that the sense you get that somehow we should be optimistic about whatever it is that's going on? >> you know, as we talked about before, you definitely get a feeling or the atmosphere here is that there is progress being made but in the same breath, but, there are still thingsing to worked out. as we wait for what we generally see when the senate opens which is the pledge of allegiance, a prayer and so forth, if you see the bottom of your screen, i'm not sure if you can see it, white hair, that is harry reid, the senate majority leader. it may be we will hear an update from him. maug maybe we should listen to th the. >> prayer. >> let us
i we have been following developments on the fiscal cliff talks. right now, senate leaders at an impasse over tax hikes and they are running out of time n just two days, those massive tax hikes and spending cuts will kick n so, let's go now to jessica yellin in washington. jessica has been monitoring events at the white house. you first reported to thanks minority leader mitch mcconnell, vice president bind have been in talks and i'm wondering, with no disrespect to the vice president what can he do? what does he bring? >> reporter: hi, martin. well, he bring morse than 350 years of experience on capitol hill and an ability to make deals. and you know, mick mcconnell, the senate minority leader said he was looking for a dance partner. i guess sort of -- you can think when you get bored dancing with one person, you switch over for a little while and try someone else. i have just been told that at this stage, it is senators mcconnell and biden and senator reid who are now again in the talks, sort of collectively so they are all in discussions broadly. and you know, i don't kn
. that is when the house and senate is expected to reconvene. >>> starbucks weighing in with the own fiscal cliff campaign. workers at 120 d.c. area stores are asked to write this on their cup. come together. yeah, he says it's a way to send elected official as a respectful but potent message, urging them to come together to fin common ground. not grounds, ground. >> all of the bickering in washington, all it will take is a cup at starbucks, i think it will push everybody over the edge. get a deal. >>> ahead, a u.s. marine who languished in a mexican prison for months, gets to spend the holidays at home with his family. >>> coming up, we'll talk to one of the lawmaker who's helped win his release. you're watching "starting point." ♪ everybody well don't you know it's me now? ♪ ♪ yeah who's it, who's it huh? ♪ ♪ willy's back with a brand new beat now, ♪ ♪ yeah doin' it doin' it up! ♪ heyyy yeah, tryin' to bite my style! ♪ ♪ heyyy yeah, how you like me now? ♪ ♪ na na na na na na na na ♪ and everybody go uh! time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants tha
time. on hand for today's fiscal cliff face-off, the president, vice president biden, senate majority leader harry reid and house minority leader nancy pelosi on the democratic side. john boehner and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell representing the republicans. brianna keilar live from washington. you say logistically, a deal can happen. politically, open question. >> that's right. logistically, it's still possible. but it appears right now, the prospects for a deal are dimming. the senate is in yesterday, but not doing a whole lot on the fiscal cliff. still awaiting the proposal to come out from senate democrats and what we're seeing is the blame game. kind of in full swing. public posturing, ahead of the fiscal cliff. obviously in case we go over it. listen to senate majority leader harry reid, yesterday. >> republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything that senate democrats put forward, just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watc
the uncertainty the fiscal cliff has wrought in the economy. here's an interesting comment from senator tim johnson, your colleague, a democrat. sometimes all the market takes is to make them see the light. that is via politico. if you don't get a deal and the markets are closed tomorrow, and you open to a couple of really big down days, is that all it takes to strike a deal? >> i hope not. hopefully congress has learned what failure to strike a deal can mean to the american economy. >> is that thought still fresh? >> it's fresh in our mind. i remember the deal we had to pass on t.a.r.p. to help our financial markets. i don't want to revisit that again. >> we've heard all kinds of stuff this morning. as you noi, senator, you probably hear this from your constituents, they're so disinterested in the process, they're so disinterested in the sausage being made. what they want to know if that there are like minded, good, smart people in that congress we're looking at right now who all have phones and blackberrys and actually work in the same building. is there enough good will to ensure that a
whitfield. here are the top stories we are following right now. >>> that fiscal cliff. we are at the very edge. senate leaders are working through the weekend trying to reach a deal before the deadline. today president obama called on lawmakers to meet their deadlines and responsibilities and forge a compromise to avoid tax hike and spending cuts from taking effect. lisa desjardins is live on capitol hill. what's going on right now? >> reporter: right now it's all behind closed doors, martin. what we just have learned in the last hour, in fact, what reporters have seen here, a surprise. house speaker john boehner was here at the capitol. we're still trying to sort out exactly why he was here, but he wasn't here for very long, it seems. he left in the last hour. also, we were able to see some of senator mcconnell's staffers. i was able to speak to one of them coming in and out of these kind of closed-door planning meetings. he said they've been here since 9:00 a.m. they plan to work all day and we may see his boss, senator mcconnell, later today. that shows us kind of where things stand. i
breaking news stories this hour. we now know the united states will in fact go over the fiscal cliff at midnight tonight. the senate is closing in on a deal, but the house has said it will not vote tonight. possibly take up any action tomorrow. the other breaking news story we're following, new details emerging of secretary of state hillary clinton's blood clot. doctors are now revealing it's located in a vein between her brain and her skull. they say it did not result in a stroke or any neurological damage. we're following both of these stories. i want to bring in tom foreman on the fiscal cliff. the emerging deal that's out there, no deal yet, and no deal until it's finalized, not only in the senate, as you know, tom, but the house of representatives and signed into law by the president. >> there's so many contentious details here. any one of them might trip this up, but there are two big pillars we're talking about today more than anything else. the first one seems to have been successful. it has to do with the idea of where you're going to put the threshold for maintaining the bu
in atlanta. i'm in for fredricka whitfield. good to be with you. >>> fiscal cliff talks, we are at a standstill, 32 hours before we reach the edge of this press cis miss. senate sfleshts taken the time out to speak after the butting heads on two key issue, one involving tax rates, the other social security. ali velshi is in new york, dana bash is live on capitol hill. we will start with you, dana. what has gotten lawmakers now not seeing eye to eye? >> reporter: actually, let me answer that by asking one of the members of the senate republican leadership, senator john thune, who just came out of the senate republican meet egg. senator, can you tell us where do things stand as far as republicans feel? >> well, look, republicans advanced a proposal last night. you heard senator mcconnell talk about that on the floor. we are still awaiting a counteroffer by the democrats. and there was an indication that we could have received that by 10:00 this morning. we have yet to receive it. but there are discussions that continue. senator mcconnell and vice president biden are continuing
the looming fiscal cliff. >> with the fate of the nation in the balance the senate is going home. that's right. no vote tonight on the senate side. the chamber will reconvene tomorrow at the bright and early hour of 11:00 a.m. eastern. >> oh, my gosh. >> 11:00 a.m. i would have thought they might have gone home for a few hours, had a shower, and come back to work. with just 13 hours until the deadline they will reconvene. the house is waiting on the senate. so nothing is getting done there. if you bet this would come down to the wire, you were right. >> gosh, they have to get up before the crack of noon. i can't believe it. >> i know. >> of course, not everyone on capitol hill will have an early bedtime. republican senate leader mitch mcconnell already working with vice president joe biden on a deal, ali. talks between the two parties could continue late into the night, i guess, but with each minute that passes, our chances of avoiding this fiscal cliff, well, they become slimmer and slimmer and slimmer. >> except they better get something done. if they don't get something done, just about eve
some republicans in the senate and also from the house in order to aavert this fiscal cliff. the white house right now is saying they want the threshold for the income tax rates at a quarter million dollars. that might be difficult to get republican support on that, so we'll see if that changes, suzanne. >> do we expect that the president is going to come back early from his hawaii vacation if anything happens on the senate side? clearly, he could get things done from hawaii as well, but it could be at least symbolically for him to return to washington. >> reporter: definitely. we expect that he will be heading back to washington, d.c. he was supposed to be here through the new year. i will tell you nothing is official on the schedule that he's definitely going back to d.c., but the sense you get from the white house is that it's more an issue of when and not if. if there is a bill that goes through the senate, the president will have to be there in order to perhaps twist some arms and certainly the optics are important. if we go over the fiscal cliff, suzanne, you've covered the white
cliff. negotiations going on this weekend to try and keep from going off the fiscal cliff. the deadline's now just three days away. president obama's modestly optimistic the top democrat and republican in the senate can work things out. jessica yellin has more on what needs to happen in order to make a deal. >> alison, christy, hi. well, the good news is, things could have been worse. it does seem those of us watching the sidelines as though time is running out. congress does some of its best, at least the speediest work when the nation's back is against the wall. >> reporter: after a rare oval office meeting, the president said he's modestly optimistic a deal can come together, emphasis on modestly. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. >> reporter: all sides left in agreement, at least over their next step. >> we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. >> whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will l
the fiscal cliff. right now, the leaders of the house and senate are sitting down with president obama in a search for an 11th hour deal to prevent severe tax hikes and spending cuts from automatically kicking in with the new year. cnn's chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is getting new details. jess can ka, what are you hearing about that meeting? >> reporter: candy, the president is going to explain or reiterate the position he took on friday, that he would like a plan that extends tax rates for people who make $250,000 and below but raises them for those who make more than that. that it extends unemployment benefits for americans. and if the president, i'm told will say if he does not get an agreement to that plan, he will ask the other leaders what they can agree to, what what they would like instead. if they cannot come up with a proposal that will pass the house and the senate, will ask for a vote on his measure. but that meeting, candy, is still going on. congre congressional leaders arrived at the white house for a last-ditch meeting just days before a new year's de
this morning, let me bring you up to date on the fiscal cliff. we're now just five days away from going over the fiscal cliff. happy new year. here's what you might have missed. president obama left hawaii early to get back to washington today. the senate is also coming back from christmas vacation today to work on a deal. now, sources tell us majority leader harry reid will push a scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the
to avoid the fiscal cliff. both houses of congress are meeting in a rather sunday session. the senate convenes aat 1:00 eastern and the house at 2:00. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen with the look at the chances for a deal and what's on the table. >> here in washington there is still hope a deal can be cut in time to avert the fiscal cliff. on saturday the president was at work here in the white house, but all eyes were on the senate where negotiators were trading deal points and revenue figures to try to reach an agreement all sides can stomach. the baseline for the president, any bipartisan bill has to extend unemployment insurance that would affect some 2 million americans, and increase taxes for the highest income earners. negotiators can still work out exactly where that tax increase would hit and whether they would halt an increase in the estate tax. in case those discussions break down, the president has asked democratic leader harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the floor of the senate that would raise taxes on households that earn $250,000 or mo
avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. those bills await action by the senate. if the senate will not approve, and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the house. the senate first must act. now, the house leader john boehner says he will give house members 48 hours before he calls them back. that means the earliest they'll be back is on saturday. so are they just passing the buck to the senate? >> i think that's what's happening in both chambers right now. you saw a return statement from senate majority leader harry reid's spokesman yesterday talking about the incompetence of the house. these two sides are pointing fingers at each other. you have a situation now where these guys are completely confident or at least confident enough that their strategies are the right ones for them that they're not moving off the ball at all. and without any sort of movement, that's why you hear so much pessimism. >> i think part of it is they're afraid of spooking the markets, right? no gop senator wants to sign -- wants
work done? tell us a little bit about the fiscal cliff here. we know the senate is going to come back on thursday. do we expect the presidt to come back to washington and deal with trying to avoid these tax increases and the spending cuts? >> it really does sound like he'll be coming back, suzanne. it is not official. the white house hasn't put out a schedule update. it seems to be more a matter of when he is coming back rather than if. the senate will reconvene thursday. all eyes there as senate majority leader harry reid tries to cobble together something that can get some republican support. we'll be waiting to see exactly when president obama is coming back but we understand that the senate even though it reconvenes on thursday may not, senate democrats may not roll out a bill until closer to the new year. also get some republican support and put pressure on the house to take it up. >> we'll be following that very closely. have a wonderful christmas and of course we'll talk with you a little bit later. if there are any developments on the fiscal cliff. stay with cnn for any moveme
is the tax part of the fiscal cliff. as you know, the senate on a bipartisan basis has already passed a bill. so that has to be the foundation of more than the senate does. when you say the action begins in the senate, that's because speaker boehner has declared that the house will not even vote on that compromised senate bill. that's a choice that he's made. he's said that he's not going to allow a vote to come up in the house unless half of the republican members support it, even though it might have support with the full majority in the house. in other words, i believe we could take up the bill that prevents the fiscal cliff and get it passed in the house. the only thing preventing us from doing that is that the speakers refuse to allow a vote on that. people need to understand that that plan would provide tax relief to 100% of american families on their first $250,000 of income and for folks above that level, they would be paying a little more on the amount of their income above $250,000. that was the bipartisan senate plan. we should have a vote on a plan like that here in the house. >>
from the fiscal cliff. sources tell us vice president joe biden and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell talked through the night and vow to keep these negotiations going on today. the gridlock in washington could also hold up your tax refund. you might have to wait until late march to file if congress does not approve a short-term fix for the alternative minimum tax in the next few days. same issue two years ago delayed the opening of tax season by four weeks to mid-february. >>> former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital but no longer in intensive care. bush was moved to regular patient room on saturday to continue his recovery. the 88-year-old was initially hospitalized with bronchitis last month, came down last week with a stubborn fever. >>> parts of the midwest are under a windchill advisory today. it's going to feel like 35 below in parts of minnesota, iowa, and north dakota. while the south will see some thunderstorms move through later as well. >>> kim kardashian expecting her first child with favorite bad boy rapper kanye west. a spokeswoman for kar
would be if all sides agree to a scaled-down version of the fiscal cliff agreement that the president and spe speaker boehner had been discussing weeks ago and then senator mcconnell would agree that no republicans would block it in any way if he can promise that. he argues that he can't really make that promise but if e he could then speaker boehner would promise to bring it to a vote on the floor. all sides would shake hands and we'd have a deal before new year's. that seems highly unlikely. but that's what all sides are pushing for today. >> i think we can all agree that tax rates are the biggest sticking point. so what specific issues are your sources saying that they might actually address in this meeting today besides tax rates? could they talk about unemployment benefits, spending cuts, what's expected to come up today? >> this is the -- the specific details of the proposal could include in addition to tax rates, as you point out, an extension of unemployment benefits. the amt fix, the alternative minimum tax would be patched for another year. and medicare doctor payments, prev
that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that would give -- that would give to middle class americans. that passed the senate. now, we know that republicans have buried themselves in procedural road blocks, everything we try to do around here. and now they are saying, well, we can't do the 250 because it wasn't blue-slipped, because it will be blue-slipped. mr. president, how does the american people react to that? there was a bill introduced by the ways and means committee in the house, sandy levin that called for this legislation. the speaker was going to bring it up to kill it but he kobt kill it and then we moved to plan b, the debacle of all debacles. it's the mother of all debacles. that was brought up in an effort to send us something. he couldn't even pass it among the republicans it was so absurd. he meaning the speaker. so it's very clear now, mr. president, that the speaker's number one goal is to get elected speaker on january 3rd. the house is not even
to avoid the fiscal cliff. even if a deal is thrown together at the 11th hour, senate majority leader harry reid says what they come up with will be imperfect. and some people aren't going to like it. i spoke with independent new york stock exchange trader kenny polkari earlier and asked them how wall street is reacting to the looming fiscal cliff. >> we've come right to the 11th hour. the -- the fact that there's going to be a substantive deal that comes out of this in the 11th hour is probably nil to zero, right? essentially in my sense, it's easier to go over the cliff. then there's clarity, right? taxes will go up, spending will get cut. the market will know what is going to happen. it can only get better from there because then you'll get legislators that come to the table, that try to cut taxes and raise some spending, and they'll argue it from a positive point of view and stand up and say, rah-rah, look what we, did right? it won't get any worse if we go over the cliff. if there's a bandaid, it leaves complete confusion, there is no clarity, the market will probably react more negati
on something tonight, but we know that the senate will not vote on anything that to do with the fiscal cliff until tomorrow. one sign of how desperate it is, vice president joe biden has joined the talks, and speaking from his senate days, republican leader mitch mcconnell speaking, but what the gop wants, they won't get. both sides are still talking, even if they are not necessarily listening to each other. >> the republican leader has shown absolutely good faith, but it is that we are apart on big issues. >> i am willing to get it done, but i need a dance partner. >> both of the republicans and the democrats agree there need to be changes to the u.s. tax code, and that is one thorny issue to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. let's go to jean sahati who is a senior writer for cnnmoney.com, and probably the person most immersed in the my knew that -- minutia of all of the stuff going on and so you have political headlines of stuff going on like tax rates and there are back channels and people have been discussing this for a long time, and what is your take? >> a long time. >> and first of a
over the fiscal cliff? earlier i spoke with brianna keeler, i asked her what might happen as the holiday week rolls on? >> well, there's one sort of last ditch effort possibility here, don, and that is when the senate reconvenes on the 27th, it's possible that either they could try to pass something and sort of force it on the house or it's possible that they could take a bill that they've already passed back in july with the threshold of those tax hikes being at the $250,000 level. and that they could kind of say to the house, now the ball is in your court, you have to deal with this, it's still very much a possibility, don, that this doesn't work out, that we go over the fiscal cliff, and that was reflected today on the sunday shows from both democrats and republicans, take a listen. >> passing plan b the other night would not have changed the outcome, we're going to go over the cliff before, we're going to go over the cliff now. you cannot negotiate with someone that doesn't want to negotiate. >> in the aftermath of the house republicans rejecting speaker boehn boehner'
increases that make up the fiscal cliff, they're set to take effect in just five days. much more on the fiscal cliff crisis, the effort to reach some kind of agreement later this hour. we're going go live to capitol hill for the latest as the senate returns to work. that is coming up in about 20 minutes. >>> and president obama's going to have another cabinet position to fill for the new year. we learned a short time ago apa lisa jackson is stepping down after the president's state of the union speech in january. jackson starting with the agency as a staff level scientist back in 1987. during her tenure as administrator she tackled pollution problems in poor community communities. oil drilling and coal regulations. all those things on her plate. jackson said she is confident epa is headed in the right direction. >>> winter storm causing some real headaches. millions of folks in the mid-atlantic states, we're looking at heavy snow, torrential rain, strong winds, dangerous travel conditions from here, washington, d.c., all the way to maine. snowfall is especially heavy in northern
on the fiscal cliff deadline on december 31st. retiring senator joe lieberman puts the potential failure in historic perspective. >> i feel it's more likely we will go over the cliff than not, and if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal, consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. he gets to cut the military, which democrats have been calling for for years, and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> so, hey, merry christmas. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president in honolulu. brianna, are the white house and republicans even talking? >> reporter: no. they're not, carol. there's no substantive discussions going on between the white house and senate democrats and senate republicans and house republicans. and this is key because in order for the cliff
-minute deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, right? the president and the vice president, they're going to meet with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would
from the fiscal cliff. are there any contacts occurring on this topic between the president and anyone in congress, briana? >> reporter: there is an open line of communication, i would say, with senate democrats, hala. but there is really no substantive conversations between the folks that you with need for there to be conversations between in order to strike a deal. the white house and congressional republicans, and perhaps more alarmingly, senate democrats are not in conversations right now with senate republicans or with house republicans. and this is problematic obviously because in order to avoid the fiscal cliff, you would need to find some sort of deal that would make it through the senate and the house and that would need democratic and republican support. now, all eyes on the senate because they will reconvene on the 27th, thursday. and senate majority leader harry reid, it is up to him, really, to cobble together something that can get some of that support. right now the white house is still supporting a threshold of $250,000 back to their initial starting point for tax rates
in honolulu with friends. with the house hopelessly deadlocked any chance of averting the fiscal cliff will start in the senate and there's a bit of news on that front. our white house correspondent brianna keilar joins us live from honolulu, hawaii. so a slight bit of news. do tell. >> reporter: i hesitate to even say it's a slight bit of news because it's sort of exactly what we would expect, to be honest. the white house is talking about senate democrats about what senate majority leader harry reid will have to cobble together when the senate reconvenes on the 27th and that's really the last-ditch effort. it's seen as the senate trying to do something that can also pass the house, so this is exactly what you would expect. the real problem though is as of this morning, just a week out from when the fiscal cliff is expected to hit. there's no discussions between congressional democrats and congressional republicans even on the staff level. this is what democratic and republican sources are telling me, and overall just to remind people, instead of this being -- here's what we expect. i
to go back to washington to oversee things as perhaps they move or perhaps as the fiscal cliff comes nearer and the u.s. goes over it. >> can we expect, brianna, any other lawmakers to step up to the plate and kick-start negotiations? what about senate minority leader mitch mcconnell? >> well, the thing at this point and i'm told by sources is that there really are no negotiations going on between senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, and senator majority leader harry reid, in hawaii for the funeral of daniel inouye and is now on his way back to washington. it would come down to the senate doing something. there would be a possibility that senate mcconnell might allow this bill i mentioned that i already passed in july, was a threshold for tax hikes, being at the $250,000 level, he may allow democrats to say, the house has to take this, or if there is some sort of vote on another measure, while mitch mcconnell would be unlikely to personally support it, perhaps he might let some of his republican senators do that, now, this is sort of thinking, coming from dem
cliff negotiations, don, have just come down to two men tonight, senator mitch mcconnell of the republicans and then vice president joe biden. we'll find out in the morning whether they were able to make any progress. back to you, don. >> fingers crossed. thank you. we'll have more on these developing stories at the top of the hour. >>> usain bolt is the fastest human being the world's ever known, but i wonder how he'd fair running against the animal jack hanna has just brought out. jack, we seem to have a large, fully formed cheetah. >> this is a cheetah, goes 70 miles an hour. we clock him at 70. the cheetah's eyesight is impeccable, two miles they can spot a rabbit. >> two miles? >> yes. turn him around here for a second. look at his eyes, let the guys pick him up on the camera. notice the dark marks under his eyes like a football player, baseball player, mother nature invented that because the cheetah's one of the only cat to hunt in the heat of the day, 110 degrees outside, they have to hunt. they are a weak cat. look at the foot, you got good guys on these ca
support in the senate and the house to avoid the fiscal cliff. we are one week away from it, as you mentioned, and republicans are not even part of the discussions, both in the senate and in the house, and at this point they are certainly maybe having a working christmas. senate democrats and republicans, but i think it's interesting just to kind of recap what's going on here. before president obama and house speaker john boehner were working on a much bigger package obviously, not just to avoid the fiscal cliff but to try and tackle the long-term fiscal health of the country, trying to overall it was expected to raise some taxes, try to deal with entitlement reform and tax reform, those other big things like entitlement reform and tax reform get kicked into the new year, dana, so it's the gift that keeps on giving on this cli clifftmas. >> taking this pretty far. one of the key questions is whether or not senate democratic leader harry reid will be able to get enough republicans in the senate to vote on anything that will keep taxes low and maybe cut some spending. is the white hou
that the fiscal cliff encompasses. no matter what happens today, washington failed. the white house failed. they will not solve all the issues put in front of them. and if you get a deal today, it's likely going to kick down a few months down the road a lot of the key issues. they are talking about a mini deal that will deal with tax rates. it might deal with unemployment insurance. but it's not a comprehensive solution. people should be aware of that when they see reports later on today that there's been some deal. >> i think you're absolutely right. all three of you, we face this period of deadline after e deadline, short-term solutions to long-term problems. . it shows a budget process that's aggravating. so far the world markets have been saying we still think america is the best place to invest. ironically, all of this drama about us getting out of debt has made it cheaper for us to borrow money. we have a lot of work to do. we will be talking about this in the days to come. thanks all of you. next i'll ask what measures lawmakers are taking to avoid this manmade, this congress-made d
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